Mars rover captures crash-landing of rocket stage

Nasa said on Friday that a mysterious spot shown on a photograph sent back to earth by the Mars rover Curiosity was the crash landing of its rocket stage.
Scientists and enthusiasts were furiously speculating since Monday about the nature of the small spot that looked like a dust cloud in a picture Curiosity snapped seconds after it parked in a crater. The smudge disappeared in a photo taken 40 minutes later.
“It was a wonderful coincidence” that the car-sized rover was able to capture the impact, said engineer Steve Sell of the US space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managing the $2.5 billion mission.
A heat shield protected the Curiosity rover during its fiery entry into Mars’s atmosphere, a supersonic parachute deployed to slow it down and the spacecraft back shell separated.
A rocket-powered backpack was then fired before the one-ton rover was lowered to the surface by nylon tethers. The sky crane was designed to detach and crash somewhere to the north.
“It’s just interesting from an engineering standpoint. The thing hit the ground pretty hard (160 kilometres per hour),” Sell told AFP about the backpack. “Our predictions were right on, and it allows us to know that we did a good job with our models.”
Nasa researchers have fine-tuned their analysis of the data Curiosity sent back on its last few minutes of flight.
They said the exact time of the landing was 0531 GMT on Monday and not 0532 GMT as initially announced.
Curiosity was also found to have landed about 1.4 miles to the east of where it had been expected to touch down, “which is very close,” Nasa engineer Gavin Mendeck said.
The Mars Science Laboratory is a nuclear-powered vehicle that is designed for a two-year mission on Mars to hunt for signs of past life, though scientists hope it will last at least twice that long.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/180135" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-d787e8ea0dbb95a912542b40d6a9b366" value="form-d787e8ea0dbb95a912542b40d6a9b366" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="81654890" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.